It's understandable why one might be skeptical. The crazy level of praise bestowed on The Book of Mormon would have one believe it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Here’s the thing: It just might be. South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s musical comedy completely lives up the hype. Starting tonight, the Broadway sensation returns to the Paramount Theatre for three weeks of shows (July 22–August 10). While it's the musical's second stay in Seattle in as many years, there are plenty of reasons to check out the show for the first time (or see it again). If winning nine Tony Awards wasn't enough to convince you of it's greatness, perhaps these five reasons will compel you to check it out...
1. The Funniest Choreography You'll Ever See
Traditionally, comedic musicals use choreography to fill the stage with a visual spectacle while delivering funny lyrics. The Book of Mormon doesn't allow the dancing to just be a showpiece; it's vital to the show's comedy. The hilarity of the characters' steps is stunning not only because of how well its executed, but because it seems baffling that musical theater has been around for so long without any other production exploiting choreography for laughs like this.
2. The Sweet and Caring Tone
Don't prejudge The Book of Mormon by what you think it might be. In the same way that many people misjudge South Park as purely an offensive and filthy cartoon (despite it offering more social commentary than 99 percent of TV shows), any preconceived negative opinions about The Book of Mormon's themes are probably off point. It's not a callous comedic bashing of Mormonism. In fact, it's got a lot of heart and actually features a fairly pro-belief message. Just go in with an open mind.
3. The Joy of Getting An Unrepeatable Song Stuck in Your Head
Unsurprisingly, Stone and Parker don't pull any punches in the name of political correctness. While The Lion King had a catchy song based around the African animals' motto "Hakuna Matata" (which means no worries), The Book of Mormon's Ugandan villagers illustrate their own motto in via the musical number "Hasa Diga Eebowai." The infectious ditty is sure to burrow into your brain, but unlike its Disney counterpart, the phrase's meaning should not be uttered in public. But it's kinda more fun that way.
4. Tickets Are Still Available
When The Book of Mormon made its Seattle debut at the Paramount in 2013, it was nearly impossible to obtain tickets if you didn't get them the moment they went on sale. Apart from last minute rush tickets, everything was sold out. And while most of the seats for this upcoming three-week run have been snatched, there are actually still tickets available. Finding adjoining seats may be a fool's errand, but it's not like you're going to be talking during the show anyway (unless you're a monster). So get over your separation anxiety, grab some single seats, and meet back up during intermission.
5. Because This Fan-Made Mashup of South Park and The Book of Mormon Rules
The Book of Mormon
July 22–Aug 10, Paramount Theatre, $45–$160